Western Forest Products is spreading some holiday cheer.

It comes in the form of a $100,000 donation to community groups and Indigenous partners in areas across coastal B.C. and Washington State, where the company operates.

They’ll use the money to provide meals and gifts for individuals and families in need this Christmas season.

“With the challenges this year has brought for many, we believe it is more important than ever that we play a role in helping those in need,” said WFP president and CEO Don Demens.

“This is a season of giving and we are grateful to have the opportunity to continue our tradition of supporting the areas in which we live and work.” 

Local recipients include:

  • Knights of Columbus Christmas Hamper Fund ($10,000), serving Campbell River, Sayward, Tahsis,  and Gold River;
  • The Gazette Christmas Hamper Fund ($10,000), serving Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Port Alice, Woss, Zeballos;
  • The Powell River and District Christmas Cheer Committee ($5,000), serving Powell River; and
  • The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive ($7,500), serving Nanaimo.

“This Christmas marks 47 years of distributing hampers that include food along with a gift for children and a little something for seniors to remind them that people out there do care,” said Community Christmas Fund chairman, Ken Niesen.

The Community Hamper Fund in Campbell River is one of the recipients and will use the funding to distribute hampers to individuals and families in need across the North Island. 

“COVID-19 makes the 2020 hamper effort the toughest I have seen in over 40 years of involvement. While there is a lot of understandable apprehension out there, the community has never let us down and we are grateful to Western Forest Products for its important contribution.” 

Western Forests Products’ donations to the over 40 Indigenous partners and individual groups vary in amount depending on community size. 

“The generous donation from Western Forest Products will be used to purchase toys and games for children and gifts and books for teens. For the past 38 years, the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive has served the communities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, and Cedar. Each year, we provide toys, books, games and stocking stuffers for 1,200 to 1,500 children from newborn to 16 years of age,” said Krista Simpson, Chair, The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive. 

“We expect an even greater need from the community this year due to the pandemic and we have been working hard to make sure we can operate the toy drive safely and successfully.” 

Through Western’s Community Enhancement Fund, the company says it provides support to local community events, organizations and initiatives. 

“Western takes pride in its contributions to sustainable and stable communities in the areas in which it operates, including through community contributions, the purchase of local goods and services, local employment and taxes,” it says.